George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Adam Stephen, 31 May 1756

From Adam Stephen

Fort Cumberland [Md.] May 31st 1756


I wrote you Saturday last, concerning Cressop’s Party, who has behavd very ill, and about the Skirmish Mr Gist’s Party had with the French and Indians.1

The Enemy was observed to Dispatch a Runner towards the Crossing immediatly on their meeting our Party—Lieut. Gist brought off the men very prettily, but with the Loss of four, as You will see in the Return2—Both parties behaved with great Resolution, and altho. our men quit the Field at last—They Seem to have more Courage, and are all of Opinion that they had the Advantage, giving a Circumstantial Acct of a Frenchman and Seven Indian’s being killed.

I forgot my acct in my last, and miss’d inclosing it in the Packet. I have been Oblig’d to Borrow £21.19.1 to Pay Some of Gists Recruits According to the Within Muster-Roll3—Lt Gist being out on Command when the paymaster paid the Troops of the garrison—The men are Scandalously nakek.

The Indians have Blazed a path from the Crossing of Savage River4 on the Allegany Road, cross towards Potowmack a nearer way than to Come to the foot of the mountain on this Side. I am, Sir, your most obt huble Servt

Adam Stephen


2“A Monthly Return of the Virginia Regiment of Foot, Commanded by Colo. Geo: Washington Esqr. at Cumberland Fort,” dated 31 May 1756 and signed by Adam Stephen is in DLC:GW. It reports 1 lieutenant colonel, 3 captains, 6 lieutenants, 4 ensigns, 1 quartermaster, 1 surgeon, 18 sergeants, 7 corporals, and 321 rank and file. Four officers are reported out recruiting, one on command, three killed, and one resigned. The four men killed in Lieutenant Gist’s skirmish were William Coe of Woodward’s company, William Stephens of Charles Lewis’s company, and James Low and William Dowley of McKenzie’s company. Stephen further notes: “Two viz. Mc⟨Gower⟩ & Lyon ought to be returned deserted One Bowen on Command. One Scurlock dead Lockard & P⟨rutcard⟩ prisoners. ⟨illegible⟩ none ought to be returned on Furlow.”

3No size roll or account has been found.

4Savage River rises in northwest Maryland and flows southwest and then southeast into the Potomac River about twenty-one overland miles Fort Cumberland.

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